Updated: Jun 10
Is there an electric car in your future? Maybe you can’t see it clearly yet but you’re doing some research and wondering how it would all work. No petrol and needing to charge an electric car battery can seem a huge deal, but the Bright Spark Power product team are here to break it down for you. Amongst us are EV owners and enthusiasts and of course we have a special pride in our knowledge of electric cars and electric vehicle charging.
When you own garage its quite a simple process to get a fast electric car charging point installed – when you live in an apartment, depending on a number of factors, there can be a few more steps involved.
Electric car batteries need charging
First of all, for those who don’t yet own an electric car, what is it even like to charge an electric car battery? Well, while traditional petrol and diesel car owners are waiting for petrol to be ‘empty’ (or a good price), electric car owners are simply topping up their electric vehicle battery while they sleep (at home, for example), or while they are stopped (at work, shopping, and the like), or while they are having lunch or taking a break on a long drive. And for long trips, there is an increasing number of available fast charge points popping up throughout Australia.
You can read our article ‘What’s it really like to own an electric vehicle’ to get an in-depth feel for what it's like to own an electric car and charge an electric car battery. As for how, the summary is, yes, you can plug it into a normal Australian standard electric plug – all electric cars available in Australia will have this option available to you. However, the standard plug has the lowest speed at which you can charge the car, and if you want to have increased charge rates at home or the office, you will require a specially installed electric car charger which is installed by a registered electrician.
Apartment living and electric car charging
Electric car chargers are a specialist installation that will improve the charging speed of your electric vehicle and remain an ongoing investment in your home’s infrastructure.
Living in an apartment in a city, is a sustainable model of shared living that should have no issues embracing other models of shared sustainability, like electric car charging. All over the world electric vehicles are on the increase, with many countries, like Norway, UK, and Germany, using electric car charging as a means to attract like-minded residents to new communities and apartments.
In Australia, you are leading the charge a little by already researching these options, so you probably understand that the mindset is still making its way into our psyche. But its people like you, who will help pave the way to a greener, more efficient, and more sustainable future for Australia. So here is what you might need to do:
Electric car charging points in apartments may need Strata permission
Electric car charging stations in apartments often require permission from strata bodies or changes to strata by-laws – even if you’re proposing to put the charger in your own car space. If you aren’t already, getting involved in your strata-body decision making – even if just to attend the regular meetings, may help speed this up.
There are three general challenges to successful installation of electric car charging in an existing apartment complex or commercial premises:
cost of install
increased demand of electricity
cost to operate (i.e. who pays for the electricity).
Other unit owners are unlikely to want to subsidise electric vehicle owners’ electricity – they’ll already be envious you felt ready to make the switch and drive the change, of course. So how an electric vehicle charging point is metered in an apartment building is critical. Preparing a clear proposal for the body corporate and residents to consider will be key.
Information to include in a body corporate proposal
If you are in a smaller apartment building, it is sometimes possible to connect the charger in your car space directly to your meter – a registered electrician will be able to assess this. In most apartment buildings this will be impossible, and you will need to find a solution that easily records the amount of electricity used per charge, and who it should be charged to.
Bright Spark Power offer separately metered, digitally tracked electric vehicle charging solutions that can be customised for your specific requirements. The Bright Spark Power Product team can help by working up a proposal for your body corporate to consider:
Requesting permission to put a charger in your personal space, in the communal area
Explaining how Bright Spark Power charging stations are metered and tracked to individual usage
Suggesting the most efficient, and cost-effective ways to develop a site wide plan for EV charging, as they grow in popularity
Discussing the investment EV charging offers, in the future value of apartments in the building
Getting the body corporate over the line
When you connect to a Bright Spark power Aussie Car and Home electricity plan, we are here for your every step of the way to help you get your new charging solution over the line. You can be assured that you will have a single point of contact in the process of connecting and installing your charger. Some ways we can help you might include:
Providing full detail of design and cable paths prior to commencing work
Providing video and image detail as well as testimonials to the quality of our work
Attending body corporate meetings to present the solution
Detailing insurances and warranties as proof we will remain accountable to the quality of the work and electricity service provided to the meter
Call or email us to start a conversation about Electric Vehicle Charging
No matter where you are in your journey on owning an electric vehicle, we will be able to add colour and context to what is possible in the charging space – not least Our Best Rate Guarantee for simple, straightforward charging at home. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 010 277